Confirmation

2019 Confirmation Students
Tianna Bestul, Sydney Blashe, Brock Opperman, Elijah Smith, Cole Rosenow

St. Peter’s Lutheran Parish has a tradition of Confirmation Ministry similar to that in other Lutheran congregations.

     In our congregations, we frequently baptize children as infants, when they are too young to understand that God already loves them and has a plan for them, even though they can’t ask for it! Therefore, we offer various forms of Christian education for our children so they can be taught about God and helped to grow in their faith as they mature. The primary responsibility for teaching children the faith lies with their parents, but we as a parish seek to help parents in this task by offering Sunday School and Confirmation Ministry. Our Confirmation program involves students in 7th, 8th and 9th grades as well as various adults of the congregation and the pastor. We meet each Wednesday evening during the school year for instruction and Christian fellowship. Students also meet occasionally at other times for Christian fellowship and to do service projects in the name of Jesus. During the two years that they are enrolled in the confirmation program, students are expected to participate actively in the life of the congregation: attending Sunday School and Sunday morning worship, participating in Youth activities, serving as tech assistant, acolyte, or lay reader at worship, etc. The culmination of the Confirmation Program is an opportunity in the spring of their 9th grade year for the students to publicly proclaim their faith in Jesus at a Sunday worship service [we call this service and Affirmation of Baptism or Confirmation]. If your child was baptized as an infant and you would like him or her to have the opportunity to more fully explore the Christian faith and then to publicly affirm their own faith, contact the pastor to make arrangements to enroll them in our confirmation program. [If your child is older than 8th grade, special arrangements can be made for them to be confirmed; contact the pastor.]

Goal of our Confirmation Program:

     To help our children know and love Jesus as personal friend and savior, to help them become Jesus’ disciples, and to help them grow in their relationship with his body (the church) by teaching, encouraging and supporting them in discovering the 5 eternal purposes for which God created them:  WORSHIP –We were planned for God’s pleasure! FELLOWSHIP –We were formed for God’s family! DISCIPLESHIP–We were created to become like Christ! MINISTRY –We were shaped for serving God! EVANGELISM –We were made for a mission!

Who’s Involved in the Confirmation Program?

     [Who has to work at achieving this goal so that we’re sure it will happen.] 1. students in grades 7, 8 and 9 2. their PARENTS and sponsors 3. the pastor 4. other adults of the congregation [Small Group Guides or mentors]   TO BE ENROLLED in the confirmation program, two things must be done: 1. Signing of a COVENANT by students, parents, sponsors, pastor, and group guide. 2. Participation by students and parents participation in a CONFIRMATION COVENANT SERVICE.   SMALL GROUPS Much of the faith development and learning in our confirmation program will take place in SMALL GROUPS. Each student will be assigned to a small group which will be lead by an adult member of one of our congregations. THE THREE-LEGGED STOOL There are three components to our confirmation program which form a THREE- LEGGED STOOL—take away one leg and the whole thing falls down. The three legs are LEARNING, SERVICE, and FELLOWSHIP. This three-legged stool will rest on a BASE of involvement in the life of the congregation.  

I. LEARNING

     What we will study: 1. The Bible 2. Basic teachings of the Christian faith summed up in  the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacraments (Baptism and Communion),  the Apostles’ Creed, and  the Ten Commandments,  Youth ALPHA course/ Christianity Explored/ or Centershot [archery] Resources: 1. The Bible Parents are responsible for paying for the Faith Alive Bible, a study Bible designed just for Lutheran students, if your child doesn’t already have one. Cost is $16.00,  Make checks payable to St. Peter’s. 2. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism as found in The Lutheran Handbook The parish buys a copy of The Lutheran Handbook for each student. When we will meet: Confirmation classes will meet most Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Students will also meet once a month or so to do Service or Fellowship Projects with their small groups at times other than Wednesday evening as is convenient for their group. II. SERVICE Each small group will participate in several service projects throughout the year. In September and again in April all the small groups will participate in a class service project: Roadside Cleanup [which will be done on a Wednesday during regular class time. Each small group will then also organize and perform some of their own individual service projects under the guidance of the Group Guide. These will be done at a time convenient to all group members (not on a Wednesday night).

II. FELLOWSHIP

     To bond as a group, to get to know and care about one another, to develop trust so that faith can grow in their midst, fellowship (fun, recreation) is a necessity. Each small group will plan and participate in a fellowship event of their choosing (under the guidance of their Group Guide) several times during the year at a time convenient to all group members (not on a Wednesday night). THE BASE ON WHICH THE 3-LEGGED STOOL SITS: INVOLVEMENT IN LIFE OF THE CONGREGATION A big part of spiritual growth and formation is being actively involved in Christ’s body, the church. All students will: 1. attend worship regularly (fill out the sermon outline that’s in the bulletin each time you worship so we know you were there and hand it in to your small group mentor) 2. attend Sunday School regularly. 3. serve the congregation in worship by: serving as acolyte for one month OR serving as usher (with your family) for one month OR serving as lay reader (reading Bible lessons on Sunday morning) 4 times serving as tech assistant for one month Sign up for one of these forms of service 4. attend one council meeting with small group as scheduled [see attached schedule] 5. give (from their own money) to the work of God done through our congregation (i.e., put something in the offering every week)   DEFINITION OF REGULAR ATTENDANCE: Regular means almost all the time. Think of it like you do your child’s attendance at school. Your child goes to school every day unless he’s sick or there’s some other huge problem—it should be the same for worship, Sunday School, and confirmation program events.

OTHER COMPONENTS

FAITH STATEMENTS

     All students will write a faith statement (during Lent—full instructions and guideline will be given then). The 9th graders will read theirs during worship on Confirmation Sunday. FAITH BOOSTERS/SPECIAL EVENTS [these events are key at getting faith out of the head and into the heart–where it needs to be to be really life-giving] During the 8th grade year (or the summer following 8th grade), each student will participate in one of the following special faith events: attend Vacation Bible School for one week attend a weekend Youth Quake (with Captive Free—at the Dells in March) attend a weekend Synod Youth Gathering (Nov for Sr. High) attend a week of summer camp at one of our Crossways camps or other Christian camp attend a weekend event at Crossways camp or other Christian camp

MEMORY WORK

     All students will demonstrate to the pastor (by reciting individually or writing down) that they have memorized  the Lord’s Prayer,  the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, names of the 2 sacraments and what makes a sacrament (the three conditions).

INVITE A FRIEND TO CHURCH

     At least once each year invite a friend who doesn’t regularly go to church anywhere to come to worship and/or some event at church (Sunday School, confirmation events, youth group, Youth Quake or Synod Youth Gathering, etc).

PERSONAL DAILY PRAYER/BIBLE STUDY

     Each student is encouraged to spend time each day reading their Bible and praying.

FAMILY PRAYER TIME

     Parents should plan to participate with their student in family home devotions each week. Guidelines for devotions are on the LEARNER TAKE-HOME SHEET each week.

EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTS

     You are the ones on whom the success of our confirmation program stands or falls. Pastor can be doing her best, students can be willing, but if the parents aren’t offering their full support, none of it works.   So, you need to: 1. Pray for and with your child. 2. Participate with your student in family home devotions. 3. Encourage them to do their own personal daily devotions. 4. Attend worship each week with your child. 5. Help them complete memory work. 6. Make sure they attend Sunday School each week. 7. Make sure they acolyte, usher, or read lessons as scheduled. 8. Pay for the Faith Alive Bible.

GUIDELINES FOR CLASS DISCIPLINE

     We have not had discipline problems lately and I don’t expect any this year. But having clear expectations beforehand will help the class run more smoothly. Respectful behavior that allows everyone to learn is the norm that is expected during confirmation classes. In the event that a student misbehaves or disrupts class: 1. He or she will receive one verbal warning from the pastor or Group Guide. 2. If the undesirable behavior continues, the student will be asked to leave the room for 5 minutes.

3. If the undesirable behavior is still repeated after the student’s return to the classroom, his/her parents will be called and asked to take the student home.